After much ado from the Occupy movement that it would be protesting the highly anticipated G-8 economic summit (originally meant to be held alongside the NATO Summit) this May in Chicago, the venue for G-8 has in fact been changed to Camp David instead.
According to The Chicago Tribune, White House confirmed the change in an official statement:
“In May, the United States looks forward to hosting the G-8 and NATO Summits. To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the president is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues.
“The president will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO Summit on May 20-21, which will be the premier opportunity this year for the president to continue his efforts to strengthen NATO in order to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance remains the most successful alliance in history, while charting the way forward in Afghanistan.”
Chicago police estimated that 2,000 to 10,000 Occupy demonstrators were anticipated to protest the G-8 summit, which could be the reason for such an unusual, last-minute change of venues.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, meanwhile, claims he is thrilled that the NATO Summit will still take place in Chicago as originally planned. His office put out a statement Monday saying he wished “President Obama and the other leaders well at the G8 meeting at Camp David and look forward to hosting the NATO Summit in Chicago.”
“Hosting the NATO Summit is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago and we are proud to host the 50 heads of state, foreign and defense ministers from the NATO and ISAF countries in our great city May 19-21,” the statement read.
Emanuel’s remarks, however, seem to dismiss a previous declaration featured on the G8-NATO Summit website (now cleansed of G8 references except for in its url) in which he asserts, “Chicago is a magnet for those who think big,” and that “there’s no better place for leaders to find solutions to the world’s biggest challenges than right here in the President’s hometown.”
ABC7 provides a report on what it calls a “knuckle-blow” to Chicago: